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Cold weather conditions can be hazardous for your pets

CREATED Jan. 22, 2013

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  • Video by wtmj.com

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MILWAUKEE - The bitter cold is being blamed for deaths in Brown and Lafayette Counties. The conditions are also hazardous for your pets.

This is Stella, and this is exactly where she should be...inside, nice and warm. Because on the other side of that window is air so cold, it can be a killer.

It's hard to imagine anyone leaving this little guy out in the bitter cold to fend for himself, but someone found him wandering the streets, and called Milwaukee animal control.

"We come across frozen dogs during this time of year, cats as well,” said Robin Stoiber.

Stoiber sees this all too often. Dogs, left outside, exposed to the frigid elements. And the consequences are just as severe as they are for you and me, frostbite, even death.

“With dogs, you'll see them crouching down more in a sitting position, constantly shaking,” said Stoiber.

As the TMJ news team drove around, they found these three pit bulls confined in a backyard. The owner thought hay was enough to keep them warm.

“Do you want to keep them?” said Stoiber.

“Yeah I'll take them in the house but they weren't cold to me, you can go out there and feel them,” said the owner.

“Oh no, they're cold, you can see it how their body is,” said Stoiber.

“Alright, yeah I'm going to take them in,” the owner replied.

Stoiber said animal owners can see the signs: they're hunched over, shaking, and cuddling for warmth. There are others like them out there, and they have no way of asking for help, which is why it's up to you to do it for them.

“An animal is going to be just as cold in this weather as we're going to be and if we're not used to it, they're definitely not used to it,” said Stoiber.

We did swing by that house again, and the owner had taken the dogs inside. If you have to take your dogs outside at all, try to keep it quick, and put them in a sweater if they need it.